Sunday, July 02, 2017

New Orleans runs on exploiting poor people

This is from James Gill's column today about Harry Cantrell
If Cantrell lacks sympathy for the poor, perhaps it is because he can hardly imagine what their life is like. The law practice he was allowed to operate on the side when he was court commissioner did so well that he declared $1.5 million in income for 2001, although he paid no taxes until the IRS secured a lien 2003. He then paid then some $300,000, and refused to cough up any more until a federal court in 2014 ruled that he had met only half of his liability.

Cantrell's law practice may have been lucrative, but it evidently overstretched him, for he was sanctioned by the state Supreme Court in 2003 for neglecting his clients. When he was elected magistrate, Cantrell converted his old law office and rented it out for $245 a night through Airbnb.
I had forgotten about the Airbnb thing.  Kind of neat that was happening while City Council was crafting the short term rental legalization that LaToya eventually supported.  Also kind of neat that she has a chance this year as a candidate for mayor to take a strong stand against excessive bail.  Recall that she helped to pass a municipal reform measure last year that was supposed to rein these practices in.  But, as this lawsuit indicates, clearly that wasn't enough.  This city appears to run on exploiting poor people. Our municipal elections should be all about examining how this happens and how far the candidates are willing to go to change it.

No comments: